Digital publication sales rise as people stay home

Sales of digital publications in Japan rose nearly 30 percent in the first half of the year, as more people stayed at home due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Research Institute for Publications said sales of electronic and printed publications from January to June edged up 2.6 percent to about 7.5 billion dollars, compared to the same period last year.

The institute said digital comics and other books jumped 28.4 percent because more people were spending time at home while many bookstores were closed.

Printed publications, meanwhile, suffered a drop of about 3 percent, partly because magazine releases were delayed due to the pandemic.

This drop was offset slightly by stronger sales of children's books and study-aid material amid school closures. The manga series "Kimetsu no Yaiba" posted robust sales.

The institute attributed overall higher figures to surging comic book sales in both printed and digital versions. It added that the full impact of the coronavirus was unclear so it was hard to make projections.